Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fitting in

Attack of the Romanians

I was going through the lunch line yesterday when I noticed some strange people in the lunch room. They weren't wearing a school uniform, and they seemed, well, different. I couldn't help but stare.

"They're from Romania" says Ece, one of the girls I usually eat lunch with.  We have a bonding moment when we look at each other and at them. We're the same: we're wearing the same clothes, somewhat speak the same language, and we are both familiar with the same customs.   The Romanians are different from us.

"Wow, they're not from Turkey, that's really strange" I catch myself thinking.

Oh, that's right. I'm not from Turkey either

When I learned, towards the begining of my exchange, that our school would be hosting a lot of students from Romania, Spain, and Italy, I wasn't particularly excited.  I was afraid they'd come and "steal" my spotlight.  What I didn't realise was how good it would feel when I realised I was just another classmate.

During English class, many teachers from the other schools came to see what a Turkish classroom looked like.  Our principle led them in, and explained to them the curriculum we are using and other standard things. Afterwards he introduced a few of us.

"This is Burak," he begun "Burak is going to Italy next month for a debate tournament. This is Kyla, she is an exchange student from Alaska, and this is Usel, she is a swimmer"

Although it seemed strange at first, I like how he introduced me as a normal student, as if my exchange was just another normal, yet noteworthy, extracurricular.

This trend seemed to continue throughout the day. It seems all it takes is a bunch of foreigners for me to transform from the weirdest kid in school to the girl who speaks really good English, and some Spanish too.  Instead of people thinking it was funny to when they tried to talk to me, they were asking me to help them talk to the visitors.  It was a nice change.

Throughout the day, I came to enjoy when the Romanians would take pictures of me with the other students.  Although I pretended to be annoyed like my friends, I was fondly imaging the caption they might put under the photo once they got home. "Turkish students during break" They would never know that the super blonde one on the left was actually from Alaska.

1 comment:

  1. Always enjoy your entries. Of course now I am eager to hear about your trip to the forest.